Scene News: Melbourne Ska Orchestra Announce ‘Outlaws And Offbeats Tour’ Touring Nationally In 2024 Celebrating Their 21St Anniversary

A milestone for many, often signifying the transition into adulthood, approaching the 21 year age bracket is always something to be celebrated. And in 2024, the 21st anniversary for the ARIA Award-winning collective Melbourne Ska Orchestra is set to bring the festivities to fans across Australia, with the band today proudly announcing the Outlaws and Offbeats Tour kicking off this August before whipping around the country well into October.

Commencing in Cairns on Friday 16 August, the Outlaws and Offbeats Tour will then head to Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, before making its way through Newcastle, Wollongong, Sydney, Canberra, Castlemaine, Margaret River, Perth and Melbourne, and is set to close out in spectacular style on Saturday 19 October in Adelaide. Tickets for the upcoming Outlaws and Offbeats Tour are available now from melbourneskaorchestra.com.

Forming in the early 2000s and comprising up to 26 members, the sonic juggernaut that is Melbourne Ska Orchestra is one beating at its core with technical brilliance and infectious joy. Bringing their own unique take on the ska genre, Melbourne Ska Orchestra boasts some of Australia’s finest musicians and performances, helmed by the indomitable charisma of Nicky Bomba (John Butler Trio, Bomba, Bustamento). And from the group’s early days in 2003 wowing Melbourne crowds through to seven full-length albums, two ARIA Award wins and several nominations, and millions of streams worldwide, 2024 finds the talented collective now on the cusp of celebrating 21 years in action; and, as Bomba shares, there’s zero sign of Melbourne Ska Orchestra slowing down anytime soon. “It’s been quite an amazing journey so far,” says Bomba. “This whole ramshackle thing we call the orchestra was created from a love of ska and the fun vibes surrounding it all. We had no idea it would translate so well with everyone, and it still feels like we have a lot more to create.”

Energetic, bombastic and bustling with hilarious and finely-honed mayhem, a Melbourne Ska Orchestra live show is eternally one for the ages, with performances in their wake including multiple major festival appearances, three international tours as well as countless Australia appearances along the way. And it’s in 2024 that the group are sharing the love with hometown fans across the country once more, with the Outlaws and Offbeats Tour set to showcase not just the infamously infectious Melbourne Ska Orchestra live show, but also the marvel that accompanies witnessing so many talented musicians in the one room when MSO roll through town. “As always the MSO show is a bit of a spectacular time with great tunes, upvibes, energising grooves and a real connection with the crowd,” shares Bomba of what fans can expect on the upcoming tour. “We believe a strong interaction with the audience is vital to great experience.”

“It’s always a military operation getting this band on the road,” Bomba continues, “much like a soccer team playing in the national competition. So, when all the planets align and we’re actually on the plane and in the bus and doing soundchecks it’s really a ready-made family party. We always have fun. We usually go out with a touring party of 20+. That’s a lot of rooms, airfares and a hefty catering expense. I feel sorry for our tour manager sometimes but thankfully he has a happy disposition!”

Consistently creating and releasing new music over the years, from their self-titled 2013 debut album through to 2016’s Sierra Kilo Alpha, 2016’s Saturn Return, 2018’s Ska Classics, 2018’s TV & Movie Themes and Read All About It!, and 2019’s Transmission Friday’s, Melbourne Ska Orchestra also unleashed a live album in 2020, as well as two compilation albums, including the ARIA-winning One Year Of Ska in 2019 and, most recently 2023’s 20 Years Young. Embracing influences spanning classic OG Jamaican Ska from The Skatalites, Toots and The Maytals and early Bob Marley, Melbourne Ska Orchestra’s fresh-faced take on the ska realms also draws nods from the Two-Tone UK wave, including The Specials, Madness along with a cocktail of grooves from around the world including Funk, Reggae, Cumbia, Dancehall, Salsa, Samba and healthy seasoning of Jazz. Self-described by Bomba as a “ramshackle Ska Train hanging loose on the rails”, the Melbourne Ska Orchestra experience routinely transcends its jubilant sonic roots, connecting fans with boundless passion and sharp delivery with each new release and live show; and it’s this very fact that has permeated the group’s entire 21 years of existence. “I feel pretty lucky to perform music that I love with an amazing array of musical outlaws!” Bomba says. “This mighty big band really is a spectacle to behold and the energy that I feel on stage inspires me to connect with our audiences on the highest level possible.  Outlaws and Offbeats indeed! 

Viva La Melbourne Ska Orchestra!”

And as to what fans can expect from the upcoming Outlaws and Offbeats Tour? “We’ll be adding some new things to the show to give our fans a different twist,” Bomba concludes, “and we’re working on some tour specific fun.”

Tickets for the upcoming Outlaws and Offbeats Tour are available now from https://www.melbourneskaorchestra.com/shows/

MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA – OUTLAWS AND OFFBEATS TOUR DATES:
Tickets available at https://www.melbourneskaorchestra.com/shows/

FRI 16 AUG I TANKS ARTS CENTRE, CAIRNS QLD | supported by El Moth

FRI 23 AUG I THE BRIGHTSIDE OUTDOORS, BRISBANE QLD I 18+ | supported by The Seven of Ska & Chutney
Tickets available from oztix.com.au

SAT 24 AUG I THE STATION, SUNSHINE COAST QLD I ALL AGES | supported by The Seven of Ska & Chutney
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

SUN 25 AUG I SOUNDLOUNGE, GOLD COAST QLD I 18+ | supported by Chutney
Tickets available from oztix.com.au

THU 29 AUG I KING STREET BANDROOM, NEWCASTLE NSW I 18+ | supported by Chutney
Tickets available from oztix.com.au

FRI 30 AUG I WAVES, TOWRADGI NSW I 18+ | supported by Chutney
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

SAT 31 AUG I METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW | supported by Chutney & PlayLunch
Tickets available from www.ticketek.com.au | 132 849 | All Ticketek Outlets

SUN 01 SEP I THE BASEMENT, CANBERRA ACT | supported by Chutney
Tickets available from oztix.com.au

SAT 14 SEP I THEATRE ROYAL, CASTLEMAINE VIC | supported by PlayLunch
Tickets available from oztix.com.au

FRI 20 SEP I THE RIVER, MARGARET RIVER WA

Tickets available from theriver.oztix.com.au/

SAT 21 SEP I FREO.SOCIAL, FREMANTLE WA I 18+ | supported by ModSquad
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

FRI 04 OCT I 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE VIC I 18+ | supported by PlayLunch
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

SAT 19 OCT I HINDLEY STREET MUSIC HALL, ADELAIDE SA I 18+ | supported by PlayLunch
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets